Egypt is one of many countries that has been affected by the 2019-2020 outbreak of coronavirus, and a number of safety measures were put in place to try to contain the disease.
Travel restrictions, quarantine, medical testing, and temporarily closing offices, schools, and other establishments were part of the measures implemented in Egypt to stop the spread of COVID-19.
However, although all air traffic in and out of Egypt was previously suspended, travel to the country is once again possible now that the restrictions have been relaxed.
Read on to discover the Egypt travel advisory different countries and the safety measures visitors should take when traveling.
How Is Coronavirus Affecting Travel to Egypt?
Egypt has begun to relax its preventive measures against coronavirus as the rate of infections decreases, in order to encourage tourists to return to the country, as tourism makes up a large part of the Egyptian economy.
Tourists can now travel freely to the Red Sea, South Sinai, and Matrouh coastal governorates, although some special regulations remain in place for other parts of Egypt.
The Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities in Egypt has decided to cut entrance fees in half for all museums and archeological sites, in a bid to encourage tourist arrivals.
Although a complete flight ban was implemented for the country in March, this has now been lifted. Multiple direct and indirect flight options to a variety of international destinations, including the United States, are now being operated by carriers including EgyptAir, Air France, and Lufthansa.
Nevertheless, all passengers arriving in Egypt by air, including returning Egyptian residents, are still required to have their temperature taken, fill out a Public Health Card.
Visas, including the Egyptian online visa, are still being granted to travelers from eligible countries.
Check the requirements for the Egypt online visa to see which nationalities may apply.
Flight suspension lifted
The flight suspension implemented during the peak of the pandemic has subsequently been lifted. International travelers and Egyptians abroad can now fly to Egyptian international airports.
Health certificate and COVID-19 tests
From August 15th, 2020, foreign passengers must provide a health certificate upon arrival. The document must include negative PCR test results for coronavirus. The PCR test must have been taken within 72 hours prior to arrival. The certificate must be written in English or Arabic.
Until September 1st, 2020, Egypt requires that a medical certificate is issued 72 hours before arrival. After this date, all medical certificates will have to be issued 48 hours before arrival in Egypt.
The medical certificate must be issued and stamped by an accredited laboratory. The type of sample taken for the swab should be indicated as well.
Passengers are also required to present a completed Public Health Card upon arrival.
Exceptions: Passengers who are not obliged to provide the certificate are Egyptian nationals and those arriving directly at Sharm El Sheikh (SSH), Hurghada (HRG), Taba (TCP), Marsa Alam (RMF), Mersa Matruh (MUH) airports and staying in the South Sinai region.
Egyptians must provide proof of their nationality in order to enter the country without PCR results. This may be, for example, an Egyptian national ID or Egyptian birth certificate.
Activity Restrictions in Egypt
Egyptians and foreigners who are currently in the country have been asked to respect activity limitations designed to minimize the risk of contagion.
The evening curfew previously in place in Egypt was abolished on June 27th, although restaurants and cafes are still required to close before 10pm. Shops are now required to close before 9pm.
It is still compulsory to wear a mask when out in public in Egypt, and those who do not may be denied entry to Egyptian public transportation.
Hotels in Egypt have resumed operations, and are currently able to operate at 70% capacity with reinforced hygiene standards. Cafes, restaurants, movie theatres and sports clubs are also now open and able to operate at 25% of their normal capacity.
Although places of worship such as mosques are closed on Fridays and Saturdays, they are now open for daily prayers during the rest of the week. Beaches and public parks in most of Egypt remain closed.
Travel Restrictions from Egypt to Other Countries
Although entry bans for a number of countries remain in place due to coronavirus concerns, and some states have announced that they will not receive travelers who have recently been to the North African country, travel restrictions from Egypt have now been relaxed for many territories around the world.
However, those traveling from Egypt to a third country may still be required to self-isolate upon arrival in their destination.
The following countries have placed a ban on all travelers who have visited or even transited through Egypt, apart from their own nationals:
- Saudi Arabia
Nevertheless. some countries, including the United Kingdom, continue to issue Egypt travel warnings to their citizens, advising them to only travel if absolutely necessary.
How Has Egypt Been Affected by Coronavirus?
After coronavirus cases were reported in the country, COVID-19 testing and quarantine facilities have been set up at hospitals across Egypt.
Foreigners in the country should follow this travel advisory to Egypt:
- Avoid large gatherings of people
- Wash your hands frequently, especially after contact with others
- Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing
- Try to maintain a distance of at least a meter between yourself and strangers when out in public
General Restrictions on Traveling to Egypt
Under normal circumstances, individuals of all nationalities may visit Egypt, although the requirements to do so vary from country to country.
Most travelers cannot enter Egypt without a visa.
Various travelers can apply online for an eVisa for Egypt, including nationals of the following:
- All European Union countries
- North Korea
- South Korea
- North Macedonia
- United Kingdom
- United States
The online visa application for Egypt is quick and simple to complete.
There are more severe restrictions against citizens of the following countries. Travelers from these nations must have state approval from Egypt in addition to a visa in order to enter the country:
- Sri Lanka
While most travelers require a visa, there are a few exceptions. Visitors of the following nationalities may enter Egypt visa-free:
- Hong Kong
- Lebanon (Borg El Arab Airport, Hurghada Airport or Sharm el Sheikh Airport only, if arriving on a charter flight)
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
- Malaysia (for up to 14 days)
General Travel Advisory for Egypt
There are certain things to bear in mind even at the best of times when visiting Egypt. Government travel advice is generally to avoid the Sinai peninsula apart from the region around Sharm El Sheik due to ongoing conflict in the region.
Conversely, the Nile Valley and Nile Delta regions—home to most of Egypt’s famous tourist sites and major cities—are considered safe.
Other general Egypt travel advice includes:
- Have comprehensive medical insurance that includes medical evacuation (although this is not a mandatory entry requirement)
- Avoid demonstrations and crowds
- Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners